Cristiano Ronaldo may not have been on the scoresheet, but he still made the difference thanks to some clever and selfless play.
Marcus Rashford’s 93rd-minute goal sealed Manchester United a 1-0 win against West Ham in the dying moments of the match.
The three points moved Ralf Rangnick’s side back into the top-four of the Premier League for the first time since October.
But while Rashford rightfully won plaudits for his winner, Cristiano Ronaldo was still the talk of the town.
The Portuguese ace’s involvement in the match-winning goal was decisive. He collected the ball about halfway into West Ham’s own half and drew two players towards him to free up space for Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani on the left.
“Ronaldo in that pocket is killing us again,” said one of the West Ham analysts as quoted by journalist Samuel Luckhurst.
The analyst wasn’t wrong.
Ronaldo’s clever and selfless play set United’s winner in motion. Martial later made a short pass to Cavani, who then rolled the ball across to the far post for Rashford to score with virtually the last kick of the game.
Remember when critics kept saying Ronaldo was the problem earlier this season?
It’s funny how quickly things change, isn’t it?
One of the West Ham analysts said deep into the second-half: 'Ronaldo in that pocket is killing us again.' Watching the goal back, he's in that area and draws two players towards him, freeing up room down the left for Martial and Cavani. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) January 22, 2022